The Border Collie is a herding dog breed developed in the Anglo-Scottish border region for herding livestock, especially sheep. It is the most widespread of the collie breeds. Typically extremely energetic, acrobatic, and athletic, they frequently compete with great success in dog sports, in addition to their success in sheepdog trials, and are often cited as the most intelligent of all dogs. In January 2011, a Border Collie was reported to have learned 1,022 words, and acts consequently to human citation of those words. The Border Collie is descended from landrace collies, a type found widely in the British Isles. The name for the breed came from its probable place of origin along the Scottish English borders. Mention of the "Collie" or "Colley" type first appeared toward the end of the 19th century, although the word "collie" is older than this and has its origin in Lowland Scots dialects. Many of the best Border Collies today can be traced back to a dog known as Old Hemp. In general, Border Collies are medium-sized dogs without extreme physical characteristics and with a moderate amount of coat, which is often thick and frequently sheds. Their double coats vary from slick to lush, and come in many colors, although black and white is the most common. Black tricolour (black/tan/white or sable and white), red (chocolate) and white, and red tricolour (red/tan/white) also occur regularly, with other colours such as blue, lilac, red merle, blue merle, brindle, and "Australian red"/gold seen less frequently. Border Collies may also have single-colour coats. Eye colour varies from deep brown to amber or blue, and occasionally eyes of differing colour occur. (This is usually seen with merles). The ears of the Border Collie are also variable — some have fully erect ears, some fully dropped ears, and others semi-erect ears (similar to those of the rough Collie or sighthounds). Although working Border Collie handlers sometimes have superstitions about the appearance of their dogs (handlers may avoid mostly white dogs due to the unfounded idea that sheep will not respect a white or almost all white dog), in general a dog's appearance is considered by the American Border Collie Association to be irrelevant. It is considered much more useful to identify a working Border Collie by its attitude and ability than by its looks.

Learn more at Wikipedia ›

‹ Back to all breeds